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Epson Stylus Color 480SXU

Product Controls

Since there is no control panel with buttons or lights on the printer, all the controls are handled through the printer software. Just follow the on-screen instructions to control all printing and maintenance functions.

How does Micro Piezo technology compare to thermal technology?

Epson's Micro Piezo (M.P.) technology outperforms thermal technologies in all areas: pressure method - electromechanical (M.P.) vs. boiling (thermal), print head life - permanent (M.P.) vs. disposable (thermal), ink flexibility range - wide (M.P.) vs. limited (thermal), potential for improvement - significant (M.P.) vs. limited (thermal). Micro Piezo technology provides the highest resolution, smallest dot size, precise dot volume, precise dot shape, precise dot placement, and fastest head firing times. Thermal technology creates satellites and misting which Micro Piezo technology eliminates.

What is the proper way to turn off the printer?

There is no power switch to turn off the printer. The printer should be plugged in all the time. Power use is negligable. Never unplug the power when the printer is printing or the print heads are still moving. Never use an external switch such as a power strip or wall switch to turn the power off.

Where can I find the printer manual?

Your printer software CD-ROM includes an Electronic Reference Guide for your printer. The manual is in HTML format, so you need a browser such as Internet Explorer 3.0 or later or Netscape Navigator 3.0 or later to view it. If you are using a different browser, the pages may not display correctly. (A browser is not included on the printer software CD-ROM.)

Where can I find the User's Manuals for the all the software that comes with the printer?

Several of the applications that came with your printer include electronic user's manuals in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You'll find these in the Manuals folder on the EPSON CD-ROM, as well as in the product folders. You can install Adobe Acrobat Reader from the EPSON CD-ROM.

Which ink cartridges should I use with this printer?

You should use the following ink cartridge part numbers for this printer:

Black - T013201 in the U.S. and Latin America
Color - T014201 in the U.S. and Latin America

Black - T013311 in Canada
Color - T014311 in Canada

Other cartridges are not compatible.

How do you select the correct media type?

Your printer automatically adjusts itself for the type of paper you select in your printer software. That's why the Media Type setting is so important. It tells your printer what kind of paper you're using and adjusts the ink coverage accordingly. Before you print, always check your Media Type setting.

What is the best way to store pictures printed on Epson Paper?

To keep your printouts looking their best, store them in a resealable plastic bag or other airtight covering and protect them from heat, humidity, and direct sunlight. Return unused paper to the original package as soon as you finish printing.

Can I use the cleaning sheets that are included with any special media I purchase?

No. These sheets can damage the printer.

Can I use sheet labels with this printer?

Yes, EPSON makes Photo Quality Self Adhesive Sheets (S041106). To avoid paper jams, only load one Photo Quality Self Adhesive Sheet at a time. Also, set the Media Type in the printer driver to the "Photo Quality Ink Jet Paper" setting.

What is the correct way to load transparency paper?

It is recommended to use EPSON Ink Jet Transparency Paper (S041064). Before loading the transparency, place the included support sheet or a sheet of plain paper beneath the transparency (or beneath the stack of transparencies if you are loading more than one). You can load up to 10 transparencies at a time, but if you have more than one transparency loaded, the minimum top margin you can use is 1.2 inches. Also, you may get better results by loading one sheet at a time. Insert the transparency sheet making sure that the notch is at the top right side of the sheet. Remember to choose the correct media type setting in the printer driver software. Please refer to your Printer Basics Guide for detailed information.

What do I do if I see a "New Hardware Found" window before I install my printer software using Microsoft Windows 98?

Cancel the window by clicking on "Do not install a driver" and then "OK". You cannot install the printer driver software by using the "New Hardware Found" window.

How do I install the printer software using Microsoft Windows 98, 2000 or NT?

1. Turn on your printer and computer and wait until you see your Windows program icons. (On Windows 2000 or Windows NT (r), log on as necessary.) If you see a screen about Windows detecting your printer, click Cancel. You can't install your printer software that way.
2. Insert your printer software CD-ROM in a CD-ROM or DVD drive.
3. Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop.
4. Double-click the EPSON CD-ROM icon.
5. Double-click the EPSON icon to start the installer.
6. Read the license agreement and click Agree. You see the Main Menu.
7. Click Install Printer Driver. You see the printer driver installation screen.
8. Make sure your printer model is highlighted, then click OK. The installer copies files to your computer and displays a series of windows on your screen.
9. When it's finished, click OK. You see the EPSON Product Registration screen.
10. Follow the on-screen instructions to register your printer.
11. At the last screen, click Done.

How do I remove the printer driver from Windows 95/98/NT 4.0?

1. Double-click My Computer, then double-click the Control Panel icon.
2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs. Click EPSON Printer Software in the program list, then select your EPSON Stylus Color printer icon.
3. Click the Add/Remove icon and follow the instructions.
4. Restart your computer.

How do I install the EPSON Printer Software on Windows (ME) Millennium Edition?

Follow the steps below to install your printer software. Don't follow the standard Windows software installation instructions on the Start Here sheet.

1. After installing the ink cartridges, loading paper, and connecting the printer to your computer, turn on your computer, insert your printer software CD-ROM in the CD-ROM or DVD drive, and then turn on your printer.
2. If you see a screen that says Your printer software has been successfully installed, Click OK. (If you see a screen that says "Windows has found the following new hardware" and if you want to search for drivers, click cancel and go to Step 4.
3. Select your printer as the Windows default printer. Click Start, point to Settings, and click Printers. Right-click your printer icon and click Set as Default in the menu that appears. Now you're ready to print!
4. If you got the screen that says "Windows has found the following new hardware", turn OFF your printer. It's important to turn OFF your printer and wait for the installation program to tell you when to turn it on.
5. Insert your printer software CD-ROM in the CD-ROM or DVD drive.
6. Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop, then double-click the EPSON CD-ROM icon.
7. Double-click the EPSON icon to start the installer. Read the license agreement and click Agree. You see the Main Menu.
8. Click Install Printer Driver. You see the printer driver installation screen. Click OK. The installer copies files to your computer.
9. When the EPSON Printer Utility Setup screen tells you to turn on the printer, turn ON your printer. The screen disappears and installation continues.
10. When installation is finished, click OK.
11. You see the EPSON Product Registration screen. Follow the on-screen instructions to register your printer with EPSON. At the last screen, click Done.
12. Return to the back of the Start Here sheet to install your creative software and EPSON documentation.

What should I do if the "EPSON Printer Utility Setup" screen won't finish during installation in Windows 98 or Windows ME.

If you find that the "EPSON Printer Utility Setup" remains on your screen for more than a few minutes, your installation program may have stopped responding. Use the following procedure to complete the driver installation:

1. To determine if you do have a lock up, Press the Ctrl + Alt + Del buttons on your keyboard and examine the EPSON Printer Utility Setup task. If it shows that the task is Not Responding, then your installation has locked up. If this is the case procede to step 2 otherwise your installation has not locked up and should complete normally.
2. Click the E_srcv03 or E_srcv02 program to highlight it.
3. Click the "End Task" button to close the program.
4. If you see a screen confirming the end of the task, click End Task again. Your software will finish installing now.

How do I install my ink cartridge for the first time?

After installing your printer driver software, you will see the Setup Utility that walks you through setting up your printer.

1. Follow the on-screen instructions to open the printer cover, then click "Next". Remove the yellow tape seal from the top of the ink cartridges. Don't remove the clear seals on the bottom or the ink will leak out. Never remove an ink cartridge except to replace it with a new one. Once you remove it, you can't reuse it, even if it contains ink.
2. The printer moves the black ink cartridge holder into the loading position. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the black cartridge in your printer.
3. Once you've installed the black ink cartridge, the Setup Utility asks you to install the the color ink cartridge. Click OK and follow the on-screen instructions. You must install both ink cartridges or the printer will not work.
4. After you've installed both cartridges, the printer begins charging the ink for several minutes. Close the printer cover.

Note: The ink cartridges provided with the printer are for initial installation only. They have less capacity than the replacement cartridges.

I just set up my brand new Stylus Color 480SXU printer and the installation procedure did not let me install the ink cartridges. What do I do now?

You can easily install your Ink Cartridges on your printer. Just double-click on the printer icon in the lower right of your screen. It will bring up the EPSON Status Monitor 3 screen. Select the "How To" button and follow the on-screen instructions to install your ink cartridges.

How do I replace an ink cartridge when an ink low or out condition occurs?

When the Status Monitor 3 indicates ink levels are low, make sure you have a replacement ink cartridge handy. When the Status Monitor 3 indicates the ink is out, click the "How to" button and follow the displayed instructions to change the cartridge. Only remove the yellow tape seal from the ink cartridge. Do not remove the blue portion from the top or the clear seal on the bottom of the ink cartridge. After replacing the old ink cartridge with the new one the printer will begin charging the ink delivery system. Charging takes several minutes. Never unplug the printer while it's charging ink!

How long can an ink cartridge remain in the printer if it's not used often?

When an installed ink cartridge is more than six months old, you may need to replace it if you notice that your printouts don't look as good as they used to. If print quality doesn't improve after cleaning and aligning the print head, you can replace one or both cartridges.

Can I still print in black if the color cartridge is empty or removed from the printer?

No. You cannot print if either ink cartridge is empty or not installed. Leave the empty cartridge installed in the printer until you have obtained a replacement. Otherwise the ink remaining in the print head nozzles may dry out.

How do I replace an ink cartridge before the Status Monitor 3 window message says it's out, such as with an outdated Ink Cartridge?

1. Make sure the printer is plugged in but not printing.
2. Click "Start", point to "Settings", then select Printers.
3. Right click the "EPSON Stylus COLOR 480" icon and click "Properties" from the menu that appears.
4. Click the "Utility" tab, then click the "Ink Cartridge Replacement" button on your screen.
5. Follow the instructions on the screen to replace the ink cartridge.
6. Wait several minutes until the printer has completed charging the ink before resuming printing.

The colors of my image on my monitor do not match the output from my printer. What is wrong?

First you must have an understanding of how color is produced. A monitor displays color by transmitting Red, Green and Blue (RGB) light into your eyes. A printer uses existing light to reflect Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK (CYMK) light into your eyes. It is virtually impossible to have these two different color types (transmissive and reflective) to match perfectly. Also, due to its transmissive nature, the monitor is able to display a much wider range of colors than a reflective product, such as a piece of paper with ink on it.

Secondly, most monitors are not calibrated for correct color display out of the box, they have to be calibrated to produce accurate colors. Adobe PhotoShop includes a basic monitor calibrator to do this; it is the Adobe Gamma utility. This utility is contained in the Control Panel in Windows and on the Macintosh. Some of the higher-end monitor calibrators use a suction cup device that sticks on the monitor and reads a range of colors displayed on the monitor. These hardware/software combination devices create much more accurate color profiles than the strictly software solutions.

Also, what type of color matching system (CMS) are you using when printing your image? The color matching system can greatly affect the output color of your image. For information on how to use the various color management system available, please check the CMS user documentation or the website of the manufacturer.

To ensure that the images your Epson Color printer produces are as close as possible to the images displayed on your monitor you should do the following:

  • Calibrate your monitor
  • Experiment with various Color Management Systems
  • Try using the ICM (Windows 95, 98 or 2000)

The quality of my printed output is unacceptable. What can I do to improve this?

Make sure you are printing the image at its actual size. If you try to increase the print size of a low resolution image, it will be very pixelated. Verify that you are using the correct printer driver for your printer model. If MicroWeave is off, turn this feature on in advanced settings. If High Speed is on, turn it off. Make sure the Media Type setting matches the paper or media loaded. Let the printer driver automatically select the settings for the best quality.

Verify that the printable side of the paper is face up, and check the type of paper being used. EPSON brand paper, which is specifically designed for the Stylus ink jet series of printers, delivers the best-printed output. If your output is faint, check the printer driver to make sure you have selected a print resolution other than Economy. The resolution of your image may also be set too low. Increase the image resolution using your image-editing software, or decrease the size of the image.

Also, try testing the printer on another computer. This will eliminate the possibility of a defective printer cable, USB port, or software issue. If you're still experiencing a problem, try replacing the ink cartridge and make sure you are using a genuine EPSON ink cartridge.

Vertical lines are not aligned or vertical banding appears. How can I correct this?

First make sure you are using the most current version of the printer driver, which is available on the EPSON web site. Align the print head as described in your Printer Basics Guide. If you have already tried to align the print head and did not have any success, try turning high speed off in the printer driver settings. Also, the print head nozzles may be clogged. From the head cleaning section found in the EPSON printer driver, clean the print heads by performing a head cleaning followed by printing a nozzle check pattern. A head cleaning and nozzle check pattern must be performed as a cycle. After printing a nozzle check pattern, examine the printed dot pattern. Each staggered horizontal and straight vertical line should be complete, with no gaps in the dot pattern. If there are gaps in the dot pattern, continue with another cycle. Perform up to 3 cycles if necessary.

How can I increase my print speed from my PC?

Verify that your system meets the system requirements. The print speed is dependent upon the amount of RAM in your system, the type and speed of your computer's processor, and the amount of free hard drive space and degree of fragmentation of hard drive space in your computer.

Verify that you are using the EPSON Stylus COLOR 480 driver. Increasing or maximizing physical RAM, lowering the print resolution, and if you are printing multiple copies of the same document, activate the "High Speed Copies" option in the printer driver settings. If you're using single plain paper to print, check that the printer's blue paper thickness lever is set to the () position and not to the (+) position for envelopes. Close any background applications that are running. On a PC creating a unique spool directory improves printing performance by eliminating spooling conflicts within Windows. If your computer supports ECP/DMA mode, it should be enabled for maximum print speeds (see your computer documentation for details).

Why can't I print from a particular Windows application in color?

Make sure the correct driver is selected and the Color option is enabled in the printer driver. Try printing again. If the image comes out monochrome, print from a resident program within Windows, such as Paintbrush. If the results are successful from Paintbrush, contact the software manufacturer of the application for assistance. If the results are not successful, troubleshoot the pertinent areas within Windows, such as the video driver.

When I try to print in Windows 98, the message "The printer is out of paper" or "The printer is off-line" appears in the despooler. What do I do?

Make sure the printer is not out of paper. The interface cable may not be securely connected. Turn off the printer and computer. Disconnect and reconnect the cable on both the printer and computer. Make sure the printer cable is fully shielded and meets the printer's specifications. Try printing a screen from a DOS prompt. If the DOS print screen does not print or is garbled, try using a different printer cable (a Belkin cable with a length of 6 feet or less is recommended).

The printer won't feed paper. What should I do?

You may see a Paper Not Loaded Correctly or Paper Jam error window on your display. Make sure the paper isn't curled or creased, isn't too old, isn't loaded above the arrow on the left edge guide, and that the paper isn't jammed in the printer. Reload the paper, making sure the paper edge guide is adjusted to fit the paper's width and see if the paper will now load. If the printer still will not load paper, unplug the printer, remove the printer cable, and make sure all of the packing materials are removed. If the problem persists, the printer may need to be sent in for a service.

Nothing prints. What should I do?

Unplug the printer and turn off the computer. Make sure the printer cable is securely connected to the printer and computer ports. Power up the printer and computer and try printing again. If the cable was not the issue, turn off the printer and computer, disconnect the interface cable and run a nozzle check from the Utility menu. If the nozzle check works, try checking for and deleting any stalled print jobs.

The printer sounds like it is printing, but no ink is on the paper. What's wrong?

The print head nozzles may be clogged. From the Utility section found in the EPSON printer driver, clean the print heads by performing a head cleaning followed by printing a nozzle check pattern. A head cleaning and nozzle check must be performed as a cycle. After printing a nozzle check, examine the printed dot pattern. Each staggered horizontal and straight vertical line should be complete, with no gaps in the dot pattern. If there are gaps in the dot pattern, continue with another cycle. Perform up to 3 cycles if necessary. If the nozzle check is not printing completely, and if the head cleanings do not help the nozzle check pattern to print completely, try replacing the ink cartridge. Any ink cartridge installed into the printer must have a blue label on top of it. If the blue label has been removed from the ink cartridge, do not install the cartridge. Using an ink cartridge, which does not have the blue label on it, may damage the printer.

Caution: If you have already installed a cartridge which is missing the blue label, or if a previously installed ink cartridge was missing its blue label at the time it was installed, and now head cleanings do not help the nozzle check pattern to print completely, your printer may require a service.

My printouts are missing color and/or black print. How can I resolve this issue?

If the printer is printing blank pages, make sure you are using the correct printer driver and make sure the paper size is correctly selected in the driver. If the printer is printing black only, the "Ink" option in the printer driver may be set to "Black" instead of "Color" or a setting in the software may be set to print black only. Also, the print head nozzles may be clogged. From the Utility section found in the EPSON printer driver, clean the print heads by performing a head cleaning followed by printing a nozzle check pattern. A head cleaning and nozzle check must be performed as a cycle. After printing a nozzle check, examine the printed dot pattern. Each staggered horizontal and straight vertical line should be complete, with no gaps in the dot pattern. If there are gaps in the dot pattern, continue with another cycle. Perform up to 3 cycles if necessary. If the nozzle check is not printing completely, and if the head cleanings do not help the nozzle check pattern to print completely, try replacing the ink cartridge. Also, make sure you are using a genuine EPSON ink cartridge which has a blue label on top of it. If the blue label has been removed from the ink cartridge, do not install the cartridge. Using an ink cartridge which does not have the blue label on it may damage the printer. If you have already installed a cartridge which is missing the blue label, or if a previously installed ink cartridge was missing its blue label at the time it was installed, and now head cleanings do not help the nozzle check pattern to print completely, your printer may require a service.

How do I align the print head on my printer?

To align the print head, make sure that paper is loaded and the printer has power. Access the "Utility" tab (if you are using Windows located in your printer driver settings. Click the Print Head Alignment icon and follow the instructions on the screen.

How can I stop the printer from feeding multiple pages at the same time?

Make sure the paper you are using is not too thin (see paper specifications in the Appendix of your Printer Basics Guide). Remove the stack of paper and fan the edges to separate the sheets. Reload the paper, making sure the edge guides are snug against both sides of the paper, then click the Load/Eject icon to see if it feeds the paper correctly.

Sometimes the paper doesn't eject all the way or is wrinkled. What should I do?

Make sure the correct paper size is selected in your application and/or printer software. If the paper doesn't eject fully, it may be too long for the printer. If the paper is wrinkled, the paper may be damp or too thin. Check the paper specifications in the Appendix of your Printer Basics Guide for ranges of paper size and thickness you can print with, as well as environmental requirements for storage.

Why are my margins incorrect?

The paper may be loaded incorrectly. Make sure that the left and right edge guides are flush against both sides of the paper. Make sure the margins are set correctly in your software application (margins are not adjustable via the printer driver). Make sure you are not trying to print outside of the printable area of the page for your paper size (printable area of the page specifications are available in the Printer Basics Guide). Make sure the correct paper size is selected in the printer driver settings.

What should I do if I get a printer General or Unknown error window on my screen?

Unplug your printer, make sure no packing material is left inside it, and then plug it back in and try to print. If you still see the error window, contact your dealer or EPSON.

If I want to clear the printer's memory, what should I do?

Make sure that you cancel the print job from the computer before you try to clear the printer's memory. Also, make sure the printer is no longer printing. After canceling the print job from the computer, uplug the printer, wait 10 seconds, and then plug in the printer again.

The image is inverted, as if viewed in a mirror. What's wrong?

Turn off Flip Horizontal in the printer software or the mirror setting in your application software. (If you're printing on EPSON Iron-On Cool Peel Transfer Paper, the image should be inverted so it looks correct when it's ironed on.)

How do you know when you should replace the ink cartridges?

Epson's Status Monitor 3 will indicate on your screen, that ink levels are low or you're out of ink. Make sure you only remove the yellow tape seal from the top of any ink cartridge you install into the printer. Also if your in cartridge has been in your printer longer than 6 months it may need replacement.

Caution: If the blue label has been removed from the ink cartridge, the cartridge will not function correctly and it needs to be replaced. More importantly, to avoid potential damage to the printer, do not install the cartridge if the blue label has been removed.